Lower mission age for YW, lower education levels

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Sheldon
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Lower mission age for YW, lower education levels

Post by Sheldon » 17 Apr 2015, 09:10

Interesting article here in the Economist about how lowering the mission age for women has affected collage education rates.
It is too early to say whether the change in mission rules will affect female graduation rates. But since it was enacted, the number of young women studying at Brigham Young University has plummeted. In 2012, 14,500 female undergraduates were enrolled, almost as many as men. By 2014 that had fallen to 12,000. Whereas in the 1990s women made up 53% of undergraduates at the university, they are now just 45%. Academics are worried.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Lower mission age for YW, lower education levels

Post by Curt Sunshine » 17 Apr 2015, 09:12

It is too early to say either way.

I will say, however, that if the same people who screamed about the different ages now scream about the possibility that fewer young women will attend college now that the ages have been adjusted (as those people were demanding) . . .
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GBSmith
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Re: Lower mission age for YW, lower education levels

Post by GBSmith » 17 Apr 2015, 09:25

It's like waves on a beach. At first there was such an inflow of missionaries the church was scrambling where to put them and there were multiple stories in the Utah press about drop in college enrollment for both sexes. Then it settled out and now missions are doing a little contracting and colleges in Utah have relaxed with the return of elders and sisters. With women going after a year post graduation from HS some are likely working and saving so it will take a little time to what will happen. With the change in age to go I can see an increase in marriage or at least earlier marriages for returned sisters since they'll be so close in age to returned elders. Back in the day there was always a cluster of older unmarried women in singles branches and I think that phenomenon will go away now.

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Re: Lower mission age for YW, lower education levels

Post by Roadrunner » 17 Apr 2015, 11:15

Lower mission age for missionaries and lower education levels I believe has also lowered quality of missionaries. I haven't spoken with a missionary who has a modestly nuanced view of doctrine in a long time. It will be interesting to see if level of education goes down for either YM or YW. I could see the % of youth finishing college after missions potentially decreasing for not only YW but also for YM. Although it could go up if missionaries see firsthand how important a college education is.

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West
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Re: Lower mission age for YW, lower education levels

Post by West » 17 Apr 2015, 11:24

Just gonna say that I'm really glad I didn't choose to go on a mission until well past college graduation. I was a very different (and immature in both personality and thought process) person before the last few years of college.

I'd give it a few more years and see what the numbers are there. I'm not sure if they'll change, but should be interesting once we get past the big influx of missionaries from the past few years.
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SilentDawning
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Re: Lower mission age for YW, lower education levels

Post by SilentDawning » 17 Apr 2015, 11:57

I believe this will be a positive change. First, YW will return from their mission with a much better sense of who they are. Management theoriest named Mintzberg said that we educate people too young because they don't know who they are yet -- and they often make bad educational decisions as a result. I think two years of missionary service will really help people gain maturity and make better decisions about which program in which to enroll.

I also think you will likely see higher persistence rates at BYU as a result of the greater self-knowledge the female missionaries bring to their college decisions.

And of course, you will see enrollment drop initially, but when the sister missionaries return, and get their money together for college, you will see a resurgence in enrollment.
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DarkJedi
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Re: Lower mission age for YW, lower education levels

Post by DarkJedi » 17 Apr 2015, 12:39

BYU is not quite as secretive about some stats as the church as a whole is, but I don't have time to go searching right now. My freshman son in campus housing says his ward is 2/3 female if that's an indication of anything.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Lower mission age for YW, lower education levels

Post by hawkgrrrl » 17 Apr 2015, 13:52

And of course, you will see enrollment drop initially, but when the sister missionaries return, and get their money together for college, you will see a resurgence in enrollment.
Exactly. This one's just still in the early phase. But female graduation rates have long been an issue at BYU - due to marriage, not due to missions. At least if it's due to missions, these women are gaining independence, leadership skills, spiritual equality with their future spouses, opinions, and life experience outside the domestic sphere. Mark my words, returned sister missionaries will expect more equality than the generations of women who mostly did not serve. They will expect it, and they will get it. And weirdly enough, I think that's what's behind the change. Don't quote me on this, but I think there was some sense among the men that with women not having served missions, they were in fact on unequal footing with the men spiritually and in terms of authority, so how to remedy that? Well, this helped.

Now, reducing the men's age to 18 was purely because it was done that way outside the US for years due to the graduation age being 17 in places like Australia and England. They probably also figured they lose fewer men this way. Men need less independence, women need more. Men need to be domesticated, women need to be exposed to new ideas.

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Re: Lower mission age for YW, lower education levels

Post by nibbler » 17 Apr 2015, 14:26

DarkJedi wrote:BYU is not quite as secretive about some stats as the church as a whole is, but I don't have time to go searching right now. My freshman son in campus housing says his ward is 2/3 female if that's an indication of anything.
Grandkids in the near future? 8-)

Maybe I'm an outlier but the mission had a profoundly positive effect on my studies. My grades went up after I got home, my study habits were much better.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Lower mission age for YW, lower education levels

Post by DarkJedi » 17 Apr 2015, 16:39

nibbler wrote: Grandkids in the near future? 8-)
No.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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